DT 27347 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27347

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27347

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A fine but not too difficult puzzle from the Thursday Mysteron.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Sun seen facing highest block (4)
{STOP} – S(un) followed by an adjective meaning highest

3a    Useless fellow largely a clot misplaced heavy garment (6,4)
{DUFFEL COAT} – most of (largely) a useless fellow followed by an anagram (misplaced) of A CLOT.  [I note from the comments that a number of solvers managed to insert an incorrect spelling of this heavy garment.  Such are the perils of “guessing” an answer and not checking it against the wordplay, which is very clear: start with a useless fellow, drop the final letter of this word and then add an anagram of A CLOT.]

8a    English girl attending university worried judge (8)
{EVALUATE} – E(nglish) followed by a girl’s name, U(niversity) and a verb meaning worried

9a    Hard worker in Paris, say (6)
{TROJAN} – two definitions – a hard worker and the nationality of Paris, son of Priam and Hecuba

10a    China possibly destabilised EU pact (6)
{TEACUP} – this item, possibly made of china, is an anagram (destabilised) of EU PACT

11a    Six, perhaps, seen in march (8)
{BOUNDARY} – two definitions – a six in cricket and a march, like the Welsh Marches

13a    Union of countries that’s trifling? Not at first (8)
{ALLIANCE} – drop the initial D (not at first) from a word meaning trifling or flirting

14a    What might be characteristic of an Arab? (6)
{EQUINE} – this Arab is a stallion!

16a    Stupid amount given for Asian food (3,3)
{DIM SUM} – a charade of an adjective meaning stupid and an amount

19a    A thin figure enthralled by cat, say, and bird (8)
{PARAKEET} – the A from the clue and a thin figure that resembles a garden implement inside a domestic animal of which a cat is an example (say)

21a    Yorkshire town  girl (8)
{BEVERLEY} – two definitions

22a    Nothing is provided to cut small wood in set routine (6)
{GROOVE} – O (nothing) inside a small wood

23a    Rank eg works by Rodin with no end of finesse (6)
{STATUS} – start with the sort of works of art that Rodin produced and drop the final letter (end) of finessE

24a    Hear a pot is broken in Glyndebourne feature? (5,3)
{OPERA HAT} – an anagram (broken) of HEAR A POT

25a    Simple root for cultivation in chief centre (10)
{METROPOLIS} – an anagram (for cultivation) of SIMPLE ROOT

26a    Exploit legal  document (4)
{DEED} – two definitions


1d    Soldier with group getting protection for wrist (5,4)
{SWEAT BAND} – a slang word for a soldier followed by a group of musicians

2d    Lie cop concocted in area that’s involving pressure for officer? (6,9)
{POLICE INSPECTOR} – an anagram (concocted) of LIE COP followed by IN and an area or zone around P(ressure)

3d    Emotionless college head admitting daughter with father (7)
{DEADPAN} – the head of a college around (admitting) D(aughter) and a two-letter word for father or dad

4d    Fine ale raised that is for a treat (7)
{FREEBIE} – F(ine) followed by the reversal (raised in a down clue) of an ale and the Latin abbreviation for that is

5d    Minor actor almost due to be recast and feature obviously? (7)
{EXTRUDE} – most of (almost) a minor actor followed by an anagram (to be recast) of DUE

6d    Bananas put in dull bag in fanciful place (5-6-4)
{CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND} – an adjective meaning bananas or slightly mad inside a verbs meaning to dull and to bag a catch

7d    Aftermath of holiday chap not posh characterised with relish? (5)
{TANGY} – the aftermath of a seaside holiday followed by a chap without (not) the U (posh)

12d    Manage abandoned castle say overlooking island (3)
{RUN} – start with some broken-down remains, of which an abandoned castle is an example (say), and drop (overlooking) the I(sland)

15d    Earnestly asked to get short course with flexible date (9)
{ENTREATED} – most of (short) a course in a meal followed by an anagram (flexible) of DATE

17d    Essentially more pleasant reserve (3)
{ICE} – the inner letters (essentially) of an adjective meaning more pleasant

18d    Unadventurous chap? Type found in Epsom possibly lacking energy (7)
{MILKSOP} – a type or kind inside an anagram (possibly) of (E)PSOM without (lacking) the E(nergy)

19d    Ready source for workers? (7)
{PAYROLL} – a cryptic definition of a source of readies (money) for workers

20d    Decline among lesser Germans on reflection (7)
{REGRESS} – hidden (among) and reversed (on reflection) inside the clue

21d    Almost highest honour for cleaner? (5)
{BESOM} – most of (almost) an adjective meaning highest or optimum followed by an honour

For those who don’t recognise it, the illustration to 25 across is part of a poster advertising a seminal film of the same name.

The Quick crossword pun: (arc} + {can} + {sore} = {Arkansas}

77 comments on “DT 27347

  1. I agree with BD’s summary and ratings – thanks to him and the Mysteron.

    Everyone should be able to do today’s Toughie without too much trouble at all so do give it a go.

  2. Thanks to the Mysteron and BD…………..a fun puzzle

    I did Sue, just finished…….needed Answer bank help to parse 1a

  3. I wonder if we could ask the IT people trying to fix the problem of the disappearing online crossword. That would be normal in any well run business. This is a real nuisance for people who rely on rather than a printed version

      1. To give an estimate of how long it will take to fix the problem (sorry, I missed that bit out)

        1. Good ides, but that in itself can cause problems. When I worked in the oil industry, I had a particularly tricky problem sorting out some coding that someone else had written. My boss was in ever 20 minutes wanting a status report and insisting it was fixed half an hour ago. After a morning of this, he decided that he would take over and do it himself. When I walked in the next morning, he was still trying to sort things out having decided to basically rewrite the code from scratch so I gave him 10 minutes and asked if he’d like a working version of the original – I’d spent a further 2 hours the previous afternoon with no interruptions and had fixed it. Its wasn’t easy to figure out if he was pleased or livid.

          1. There is nothing like targets, achievements, budgets, over achieving and meeting deadlines. Fortunately I do not have to worry about them any more. My only concern is to finish the Telegraph crossword before it gets published.
            Unfortunately the IT people who are trying to fix the online version do not seem to be charged with the same ambition. It would benefit all of us, and them, if they were

  4. A really good puzzle – I needed help with 7d but it was obvious once I found out the answer (doh!).

    Very enjoyable and a very good blog of explanations – thanks! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  5. No big problems this morning apart from writing BROOM in for 21D an then (despite knowing it was wrong) continually trying to start 23A with O. D’oh.

    9 full page adverts and 9 half pages adverts today – and all for only £1.20 (and that’s ignoring the 1/4 page adverts and things like Telegraph Travel adverts) !!! Why am I paying money to not look at bloody adverts.

    1. I also had BROOM for 21d, and tried to justify it as BRO(W) OM (hence my last one in was 23a).
      3*/4* for me today. Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  6. Enjoyable puzzle, flashed through most of it but got totally mired top right, as spelling of duffle…el, was awry which made things a bit sticky.

    Thanks to BD for the hints.

    Thanks to the Mysteron.

        1. The coat is named after the Belgian town Duffel…

          … but that only helps if you know how to spell the town!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. I put the answer in without thinking but you are absolutely right, if you asked me to spell “duffel” I would use the “le” ending!

  7. Definitely having an off week! I, too, spelled 1A with an “le” which messed up the NE segment. I know 9A has come up before but I never remember until I read the hint. And I tried to make “tasty” fit for 7D. Oh, well.

    I did like 21D, though and that one went in very quickly. Many thanks to the setter and special thanks and appreciation to BD, who is working overtime for us this week. On to the Toughie….

    1. I thought of tummy for 7d – well, it IS some sort of aftermath. Pity the rest of the clue didn’t fit with ‘gippy’.

  8. Thank you setter, good fun. Had all the answers but needed one or two explanations from BD to decode the wordplay. Many thanks for that BD – you are putting in a long shift this week !

  9. I found this really difficult. I think I was as much on the wrong wave length today as I was on the right one yesterday. At least 3* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment too.
    I got in a terrible muddle with 5a – the ‘useless fellow’ being a duffer never occurred to me – I thought ‘useless’ was ‘duff’ which landed me in a mess with the rest of it although the answer was obvious. Oh dear!
    11a took ages. I’ve never heard of the Yorkshire town. I didn’t know the 1d slang for soldier and anyway I thought ‘sweat bands’ were so that sportsmen could wipe the sweat off their faces rather than as a protection for their wrists.
    I could go on for longer but think I’ll just leave it at saying I made a real pig’s ear of the whole thing today.
    I liked 3d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and BD for sorting out a few of my answers – my duffle coat being the main problem!

      1. Thanks – might have a look later but really ought to do something useful first – I need to justify my existence!

    1. I’m on your wavelength today, Kath. I found this comparatively tough – 3* for difficulty, but, unlike you, I didnt enjoy it that much – 2* for enjoyment. I thought there were too many instances of missing letters, and lots of “eg”s and “say”s.

      I put my answer in quite quickly for 3a but spent ages failing to parse it. Like you, I arrived at “duff” for useless, and I could see that the last five letters were an anagram of “a clot”, leaving me bemused as to why “fellow largely” = E! Thank you BD for putting me out of my misery.

      We had a long list yesterday of what to put if “soliders” appear in a clue. The first word of 1d is another one, and a new one on me!

      11a contained a new meaning of “march” for me.

      Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD

    2. Kath, I think the wrist bands are there to absorb the sweat that might run down the arms and make the grip slippery. That’s always been my belief anyway, although you do see tennis players using them to wipe their faces.

      If a sports player needed protection and warmth to avoid injury, they would use a specific sleeve or brace – nowadays neoprene or a pressure strip.

      BTW I had no idea about the basis for that clue (soldier etc) it just fitted the existing letters..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Bluebird, you are right. I play squash and wear sweat bands on my wrists for exactly that reason.

        1. Dave, I applaud you. These knee-wrecking pursuits are but a distant memory for me.
          Even Pilates can be dangerous I have found and a lot of that is done lying down……..

    3. I have been to that Yorks cathedral. It’s blimmin massive!
      I know it’s technically a Minster rather than a cathedral.

      Does anyone with esoteric knowledge know the difference?
      And how many cities lack a cathedral, or vice versa?
      How many, if any, C20 cathedrals are there which aren’t a replacement of older ones, like Coventry?

      It would be nice to know, in the event of random quiz questions…

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that defeated me on 11a, needed the hint for that one, I always struggle with double definitions. Favourite was 4d. Last in was 7d. Dull day in Central London. Off to the Toughie now, hope crypticSue is right! Was 2*/3* for me.

  11. Yet another duffle victim I ‘m afraid ,at least I eventually thought of checking the spelling as 5d proved increasingly elusive to unravel. Apart from that ,fine. Thought it might have rated ***/***. Big d’oh moment when Paris clicked, an idle thought came into my mind that there must be a good clue built around a drunk Trojan and Gypsum Plaster-one for the setter!

  12. Blimey, I did find this hard! Four-star territory for me today.

    BTW we are all aware that the crossword is being made available online each day, aren’t we? It’s at
    and they aren’t checking to see if you have a subscription :-)

    Thanks to Mysteron for a hard-but-fair puzzle, and to BD for working like a Trojan.

    1. Good spot, an IPad user will be able to have a stab at the toughie without parting with money.

      Not that I’m mean you understand. :-)

    2. Steve_the_beard,

      I was hoping that nobody would mention that you don’t need a subscription!

      I was looking forward to saving £2.00 x 2 at the week-end for not buying the papers but still doing the crossword!

      Regards, Scrooge!


  13. I eventually got there without recourse to hints, but after my first two read-throughs I had answered only one clue, and was looking for a 5* rating. It shows you the virtues of perseverance. Still at least 3*, I think.

  14. Did most without hints but with plenty of electronic help. We thought it quite hard going. I agree with Kath, sweat bands aren’t really a wrist protection. You would certainly need something stronger than a sweatband to protect your wrists if someone served a tennis ball at you at 130 mph. Thank you setter & BD (again) working http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gifbeyond the call of duty I think.

  15. It wasn’t too bad but I needed hints for 9a and 7d, either of which I might have got if they weren’t crossing.

    There were a few where the answer slotted in but I was ignorant of the references, which is always a bit unsatisfying.

    And some where the ” crypticity” was a bit academic, e.g. 2d: it was there, it made an appearance to satisfy the requirements of such a puzzle, but if you couldn’t guess the second word, there’s no hope for you. I call these “retrospectives”…..

  16. My first comment – but not my first visit to BD & co. Excellent site populated by good people. Today’s was 2*difficulty and 3* enjoyment for me. Suffered from not having any stand-out clues. But thanks to BD for services rendered in the past – and future too, no doubt

  17. Hey BD – if you get time (not this week obviously!!), could you post a glossary of the emoticons?

    No hover function on the iPad, so my selection is a bit random for the half of them with potentially ambiguous meanings. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by an injudicious tap!

    1. Oh dear – horrid, again! I know what it means but just thought I’d look it up to see what BRB has to say about it – a bit of displacement activity – among other things it means shaggy and bristling. The thought of a crossword with its hackles up has made me laugh so thank you very much for that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. Did this late this afternoon after treat ment at my GP’s practice to my feet – blood everywhere – on the bandages of course.

    Faves : 3a & 6d.

  19. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifHey Kath, didn’t know paperwork required just to be late http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif I finished this ‘horrid’ crossword IMHO of course, earlier today but the blog hadn’t come up and I had to go out…sorry , I thought this really on the difficult side, with far too many clues requiring words to be shortened etc. my least favourite type of crossword clue, despite this I did have a favourite today 16a made me smilehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifSorry – thought you hadn’t been around for a couple of days!
      I thought this was difficult too.

        1. Oh dear – a bit slow today I think – I missed it and thought she’d sneaked off again. Haven’t even got round to looking at the Sunday blog – can’t remember which Sunday we’re talking about and almost certainly don’t stand a hope in hell of finding the crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  20. I thought this was a super puzzle, but I did need BDs explanation for a couple, 1d in particular … another meaning of a soldier. Favourite was 4d. I also solved the quickie pun! Two days in a row.

    Thanks to the setter, and, of course, to BD for explaining the “why” of a couple, and his heroic efforts to keep this site with its head above the water.


    1. Totally agree with your comment on BD’s tenacity and stamina in keeping the blog going. I just hope it doesn’t prove too much for the big man having to take on more solving duties while other reviewers take leaves of abstinence – and why shouldn’t they?

      Can’t we pressgang some of the solvers and reviewers from other sites and persuade them as to the error of their ways and to redeem themselves by joining the friendliest and most polite crossword site on the interweb thingy?

    2. I agree – BD is brilliant. I’m sure he knows that we all think that – well, I hope he does.
      I also hope that all the other clever ones who give us the benefit of their brains and experience so readily know that we think they’re brilliant too.

  21. An enjoyable puzzle for us with no significant delays. Such a pleasure to be able to do it in the morning and not having to wait until late evening as it has been since the site went down. Posting the new puzzle at midnight your time, as it always has been, would certainly make people like us happier.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

  22. I too found this horribly difficult.It didn’t help that I wrote in Donkey coat, aka Michael Foot for 3a.Still, I liked 19a amoung others. A huge thank you to Big Dave for all his work and assistance.

  23. Quite straightforward and enjoyable. At first, I thought it was a pangram, but was disappoinred in being unable to find a ‘Z’

  24. Needed help for 9 as had France stuck in my head. Although got 7 ok it took a long time to understand why. Thanks for the hints.

  25. I’m with Brian as this was an unamusing struggle for me particularly in Northeaast corner where I had to resort to BD help hence many thanks for that. Didn’t really like clues to 9a, 14a 12d or 17d. Mis-spelling “Duffel” gave me a bum steer too. ****/*. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  26. Must be me, I’ll shut up, but 12 double unches.? Really. Just for Kath I have one fave, 9a, for the d’oh moment. Also have many clues that I liked, thanks to Setter and BD

  27. A day late but found it hard as usual on a Thursday.
    Didn’t help when I made up the word sculptur
    And also had broom in the same corner.
    Really needed the help. Thanks to both.

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